News State QLD News Life jacket among debris found as search continues for missing fishermen

Life jacket among debris found as search continues for missing fishermen

missing men search boat
Police have scoured 1700 nautical miles by air and sea in search of the missing trio. Photo: Twitter/QPS
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A fuel tank and a life jacket are among more debris found in the ongoing search for three men who have been missing off the coast of Cairns since Tuesday.

The three men, aged 18, 27 and 37, left the township of Yarrabah for a fishing trip on Tuesday morning and were last seen near Green Island, where they appeared to be experiencing engine trouble.

A large-scale air and sea search was launched, despite difficult weather conditions.

On Thursday, fuel containers were found in the waters around where they were last seen and on Friday authorities confirmed they were from the missing boat.

Inspector Andrew Cowie said a fuel tank had since been found along with a water-logged life jacket, both of which have been verified as having come from the boat.

He said it was unlikely the boat would be able to operate without the fuel tank.

“We will continue our search efforts until experts advise us otherwise,” he said.

Inspector Cowie said the search area would also be expanded “significantly” northwards of Cape Tribulation and towards Wujal Wujal.

“Police are currently focusing their search area around the Batt Reef, Hastings Reef and Michaelmas Cay area,” he said.

“Weather has hampered our search efforts, particularly in the aerial capacity, however we are maintaining those search areas.”

He said searches would continue until at least Sunday, depending on the weather.

“We will continue according to the best advice … it depends on water currents, tides,” he said.

Inspector Cowie said the boat was equipped with safety equipment, including a registered EPIRB.